2008 running back Jonas Gray was one of many players in South Bend last weekend. The 5-foot-9, 206-pounder out of Detroit (Mich.) Country Day had a good visit despite the Irish's loss to Michigan.
"I liked the trip a lot," he said. "I liked the way coach Weis spoke to us about his philosophy of football and how he takes it all into perspective. Basically he told us that it takes three things for him to recruit you. You have to be a good person, good student academically and a good football player. He went on to say that sometimes kids have two of the three, but he won't recruit you then. I thought that was a really good philosophy to have because it shows what kind of person coach Weis is. I believe I have those components."
While on the visit, Gray was able to speak to coach Haywood.
"I got a chance to talk him," he said. "He sat me down and talked about how my season is going and the recruiting process. He also discussed what he studied at Notre Dame. He was a real upfront guy that didn't tell me whatever. Coach Haywood was a friend and recruiter at the same time."
As for the game, the Detroit running back paid close attention on the field.
"Offensively they never got into a groove and the defense gave up big plays here and there," he said. "I thought the defense played better than they did against Georgia Tech. They just had bigger mistakes.
"All the players talked about what it's like after a loss. I was in the locker room and it was total quiet."
Overall Gray had a good trip to South Bend.
"It's early, but this was a great visit," he said. "The people were nice, including the recruits like Jimmy Clausen. He spoke to me as if I'm a friend which was nice. All of the people there were nice and the atmosphere was amazing. Even though Michigan got up on them early, the crowd never gave up."
At this time, Gray holds one offer from Michigan State and has no leaders.
"I would say I'm pretty wide open, but I do think that Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, West Virginia and Oklahoma stand out a bit early," he said. "I'm also getting some love from Florida and Tennessee.
"As for a school, I'm looking for academics, tradition and players they have. I also want to see what the school is known for academically to see how I fit in there."
This weekend the Michigan prospect will be staying in-state for the Michigan State-Notre Dame game.
As for the season, Gray continues to impress.
"I think my statistics are approximately 590 yards and eight touchdowns in three games," he said. "I still think I could turn it up another notch as I'm not playing to the best of my ability.
"I do need to work on channeling my energy so that I finish runs a little harder. I am always one hit away from a touchdown and I've got to finish those better so that I can get to the endzone more."